Salon: 'Agents of Shield' a 'Horror-Show Mirror' of 'Trump's America'

May 31st, 2017 12:27 PM

Salon has found a “poignant” comparison to make about Trump. His administration and the resistance to it are like Hydra Corporation dealing with Marvel heroes.

In a review of the latest season of Agents of SHIELD, a television program that follows the intelligence service, known as SHIELD, in their battle against the fascist Hydra, Salon writer Amanda Marcotte lauded the producers of the show for doing “a remarkable job shaping the latter half of this season into a horror-show mirror of what it feels like for liberals living in Trump’s America.”

The part of the season she referred to is a six-episode story of two female agents who are stuck in a simulated reality where the evil Nazi corporation Hydra is in charge of everything. The women are aware of the simulation and are desperately trying to inform the other agents of the situation.

Marcotte found that this plot struck close to home for her, because “waking up one day and finding you live in a parallel dimension where the Nazis are in charge” bears a striking resemblance for liberals who woke up one day and found Trump in charge. Trump, of course, is a Nazi fascist who is brainwashing the inhabitants of this reality into thinking he’s not actually a Nazi.

Apparently there is also symbolism in the fact that the resistance in the show is led by women, who pull aside school children to let them know that Hydra is in fact led by Nazis. Marcotte argued that the similarity between this plot point and the Women’s March in February is “a knowing wink at Trump-era controversies” made by the show’s writers. The similarity doesn’t end there. Elizabeth Warren is the real version of the show’s heroine Daisy Johnson, who is interrogated and beaten by Hydra, at least, in Marcotte’s opinion.

She also compared the group on the show known as the Inhumans to the illegal immigrants in America, calling both communities misunderstood, persecuted, and innocent.

While it's hard to tell whether or not Agents of SHIELD was aimed at the Trump administration, it is quite clear that liberals are now finding themselves the heroes of their own alternate realities. But they can’t wake up from their simulations to look at what is actually going on.

The saddest part of this comparison story came at the end, when Marcotte compared the boyfriend of one of the heroines in the show to the friends and family of liberals who voted for or supported Trump. The boyfriend, Leo Fritz, ended up becoming the leader of Hydra in the story; the heroine, Jemma, had to realize that her loved one was “a bad one, through and through.”

Marcotte identified with the struggle of the heroine, saying that the story captured the real feelings of liberals about Trump-supporters in the family: “the fruitless efforts to get through to them, the yearning to hear them apologize and the growing and terrible realization that these people you loved and thought you knew might actually hold the terrible views that they voted for.”  

Only one side is right, no matter who shares in the other side’s beliefs. The bad guy, Trump, is the horrific alternate reality that liberals have always feared, except that it is real. And the left is given the chance to make their own comic-book characters, who still believe that Hillary could be president and make a better world. For Marcotte, “it was nice to imagine that the horrors we’re experiencing every day aren’t the real world.” For liberals, it must be nice to glamorize their own cause and think of themselves as the superheroes, instead of part of the problem.